In This Chapter
Understanding the advantages of extra RAM
Shopping for a RAM upgrade
Choosing between internal and external hard drives
Determining your hard drive needs
Shopping for a new hard drive
Installing your upgrades
Most Macintosh owners will make two upgrades — adding more memory (RAM) and additional hard drive space — during the lifetime of their computers. These two improvements have the greatest effect on the overall performance of Mac OS X. By adding RAM and additional hard drive space, not only do you make more elbow room for your applications and documents, but everything runs faster: Think of the Six Million Dollar Man, only a heck of a lot cheaper to operate (and no strange noises accompanying your every move).
In this chapter, I steer you around the hidden potholes along the way for those who aren't well versed in selecting memory modules or weighing the advantages of different types of hard drives. However, if you buy the wrong piece of hardware, remember that using a hammer to make it fit is not a workable option.
Of all the possible upgrades that you can make to your Macintosh, adding more random access memory (RAM) is the single most cost-effective method of improving the performance of Mac OS X. (In fact, your machine will likely run faster with more memory than a reasonably faster processor!) Here is exactly what Mac OS X uses available RAM for:
Applications: Naturally, Mac OS X ...